Kenilworth has always had the smallest commercial district of any North Shore village. Basically, Green Bay Road runs through town separating it into the east and west sides. There are a few shops and businesses on that stretch of Green Bay as well as a few on Park Dr.
I lived in Kenilworth for around 20 years and never gave it any thought. After all, we had Wilmette with its great downtown just to the south, and Winnetka on the north side. Kenilworth is tiny and nothing is very far. For the most part, people drove right through Kenilworth on to someplace else (unless they lived there.)
Several business have maintained their presence there for many years including R & B Cycles (562 Green Bay Road) and the Federalist Antiques (515 Park Dr.) Others have come and gone, but there are, nowadays, many empty storefronts.
So Kenilworth, one of the last remaining dry holdouts, voted to allow liquor sales in the hope of luring restaurants and other businesses. No residents opposed this legislation - in fact, most didn't even realize that liquor sales were banned. It was assumed that it wasn't sold because there aren't any restaurants, coffee shops, or cafes in town.
Village manager, Patrick Brennan, said:
"Most people calling us who wanted to start a new business had no idea they couldn't get a license. A lot of them never called back."
In 2009, Kenilworth voted to allow restaurants to open, but obviously none did. One major hurdle to opening a restaurant in Kenilworth has been removed.
Kenilworth Village President, Bill Russell added, "I think residents here would like to be able to walk to a nice restaurant or cafe in town and have a glass of wine with their dinner."
I agree and think this will make Kenilworth a more inviting place to live and visit. That's what North Shore residents have repeatedly said they want - restaurants!